Earlier this month I posted a three-part series demonstrating how to develop a plan that gets the PR electricity streaming through your press and customers. The more carefully you plan, the less likely a misstep or surprise that could damage or even destroy your efforts.
To help you spot Murphy when he steps through the door, here are the five most common mistakes I see.
1. Send your invitation to the press and assume they will attend. Once is never enough. Begin three weeks ahead with emails every 2-3 days. After the third email, begin calling recalcitrant invitees. Follow up with email reminders four days in advance. Two days before the event, call those who didn’t respond to the reminder. The night before, email everyone, the details and directions “so it’s handy.”
Or, be more creative to capture their attention. Send the initial invitation by U.S. mail (yep, where you use a stamp) printed on a sample of your new product or on some handy gadget for their desks. Imagine their surprise, when they get something from a mail carrier.
2. Entrust speakers with developing their own presentations. Most will come with 50 disjointed slides and promise that they’ll “go quick.” None will be past slide 5 when their time expires. It will go unnoticed, however, because the audience fell asleep on slide 2. Instigate a mandatory presentation review process going from outline through the final. Conduct a minimum of one live practice session.
3. Schedule weekly press releases; subject TBD. New hires and promotions are news, right? No, but that’s generally where these projects end up going for grist. While I see this resolve to “get our name out there” frequently, press releases are always a waste. Thousands of press releases are issued each day. Even industry publications only cover the top few. Be creative, there are better ways to get your company’s name in the spotlight.
Tomorrow, in part 2 I’ll tell you how to handle the two biggest perceived demons in promotional marketing – villainous self-ware demos and those reporters who are out to get you.
What other problems are you facing? Want to guest blog? Let us know.